Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) is a surgery performed in medium to large breed dogs with early clinical hip dysplasia signs. The goals of the procedure are eliminating coxofemoral joint laxity, improving hip congruity, and normalising stresses on the hip joint. This should help to prevent or reduce the development of osteoarthritis.
Candidates for triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) are dogs over 30 pounds and older than 5 months of age but rarely older than 1 year of age. If hip looseness is seen on X-Rays without evidence of arthritis, the TPO is usually a very good option. A sedated examination is required in addition to the X-Rays in order to evaluate the degree of looseness and to determine the degree of correction that would be required with surgery.
A TPO involves bone cuts in the pelvis so that the socket portion of the joint can be rotated over the ball; the bones are then stabilised with a bone plate. The surgery helps to provide better coverage of the ball portion of the hip joint, which eliminates joint laxity. Typically, dogs that undergo this procedure are puppies and younger than 1 year of age. The procedure can be performed on both sides simultaneously but, more commonly, each procedure is separated by four to six weeks. Once arthritis is apparent on X-Rays, a TPO can no longer be performed.
Aftercare following TPO surgery is very important, with rehabilitation taking many months. Exercise must be very restricted for the first few weeks until the soft tissues and cut bone heal, and at this stage is primarily for toileting purposes. It must be on a lead or harness to prevent strenuous activity. At other times confinement to a pen or a small room in the house is necessary with avoidance of jumping and climbing.
After a few weeks, exercise may be gradually increased in a controlled manner (still on a lead) as guided by a physiotherapist and Hydrotherapy may be recommended.
A check-up is necessary six to eight weeks after the operation. Limb and stifle function are checked at this time. X-rays are obtained to evaluate healing of the bone. Depending on progress advice is given regarding increasing exercise.
Rehabilitation is a process which aims to maximise patient mobility and wellbeing, returning them to their usual way of life following illness, injury or surgery. We restore pets to normal function (or as close as is possible), efficiently and safely using a wide variety of physiotherapeutic techniques.
Injury and even surgery can disrupt the body’s equilibrium in all sorts of direct and indirect ways. Even a pet’s own protective responses such as the inflammatory process can overwhelm and inhibit healing so one objective of rehabilitation is to reduce this level of inflammation. During rehabilitation, we also aim to boost the circulatory system, improve muscle function, increase range of motion within joints, and stimulate innate pain-relieving mechanisms.
With a committed and planned rehabilitation programme, pets can recover more quickly, realise better outcomes and avoid much pain and discomfort.
The best rehabilitation programmes consider the whole pet, not just the area of injury; we target and improve multiple systems throughout the body without forgetting the invaluable healing effects of boosting mental wellbeing too. From the wound healing properties of laser treatment, and the muscle strengthening of hydrotherapy, to the circulation boosting effects of massage, we will devise a rehabilitation programme to match a pet’s specific requirements.
The content on this page is for advice and information only and does not represent veterinary guidance or direction. Please always consult a veterinary surgeon if you are worries about your dog.